Melissa Cregger joined ORNL in 2015 as a Staff Scientist in the Integrative Microbiomics Group in the Biosciences Division (BSD) within the Biological and Environmental Systems Science Directorate (BESSD). Dr. Cregger contributes to multiple research projects within ORNL including:
- The Center for Bioenergy Innovation (https://cbi.ornl.gov/)
- The Plant - Microbe Interfaces Science Focus Area (https://pmiweb.ornl.gov/)
- The Secure Ecosystem Engineering and Design Science Focus Area (https://seed-sfa.ornl.gov/)
- The Watershed Dynamic and Evolution Science Focus Area (https://www.esd.ornl.gov/programs/rsfa/index.shtml)
- DOE Early Career Award (https://genomicscience.energy.gov/early-career-awards/)
Dr. Cregger is an ecologist broadly interested in understanding microbial community dynamics across ecosystems, and how changes in microbial community structure may influence ecosystem level processes. Specifically, she is interested in understanding the potential for changes in microbial diversity and composition to influence the health of associated host organisms and to alter large scale nutrient fluxes. Her research spans scales from the molecule to the ecosystem level, taking advantage of modern techniques to fully understand microbial interactions. Dr. Cregger received her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2012 at the University of Tennessee under the guidance of Dr. Aimee Classen. After her Ph.D. she proceeded directly to a prestigious post-doctoral fellowship at the Carl Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois in the Biocomplexity theme. In 2014, she left the University of Illinois to begin a post-doctoral appointment with Dr. Chris Schadt at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In 2015, she received a staff appointment at ORNL when she was awarded a Liane Russell Fellowship. Dr. Cregger is an active member in the Ecological Society of America, and a subject matter editor for Ecological Monographs and Ecology.